Terrible twos, shm-errible twos. Two-year-olds get a bad rap. So do gangsters. Which many parents might argue the parallels between the two. But I’m going to be focusing on the merits of why two-year-olds are awesome. Why am I celebrating two-year-olds? Because my son will be turning three years old in a few short weeks and all I keep thinking about is how awesome this past year has been and how much more awesome things keep getting. My maternal grandma has a saying though which is, “Don’t brag on your kids because as soon as you do they’ll embarrass you.” Which is why I waited to write this until right before my son’s third birthday. I certainly didn’t want to jinx the good times. Read on to learn why the terrible twos are actually awesome.
Here’s five reasons why two-year-olds are awesome:
1. Dancing Machines: They jig and dance to anything that sounds like music. I love glimpsing my son dancing in his car seat to literally anything I put on the radio (confession: I only listen to his toddler music in the car so maybe that’s why). Or, have you ever seen a toddler dance to kitchenware being banged together? Their standards are so low I feel like I’m Beethoven when I’m banging out Twinkle Twinkle on his xylophone. By now, most parents know of the wonderful benefits of music. Such as accelerated brain development, particularly in the areas of language acquisition and reading skills. So ya, I’m all in with this music and dancing thing. Let the bells ring!
2. Cuddlers and Sometimes Smothers. They love to snuggle and cuddle. No one told me that toddlers love to cuddle so much. Curling up with your toddler is like sleeping with a domesticated wolf. It feels amazing to be so close to them but you’re not entirely sure they won’t bite your face off if you fall asleep. Yet for some reason you always take the risk. Sure, sometimes in the morning when I snuggle with my little man and I decide it’s time to get up he’ll get all prison guard on me. And ya, I steal kisses when he rejects them or worse, when he slaps my face away. But man, toddlers are such lovers. As a bonus, I read a study that links adults who experienced “sensitive, non-controlling caregiving,” aka cuddles, as toddlers as being less anxious about their attachment to partners (ie: I worry that my partner doesn’t care about me) and are able to share their feelings more easily as adults. So boom! Bring on the cuddling.
3. Opinions on Errthang. I love that my little guy has an opinion on everything. He doesn’t hesitate. He’s like, “I want the pink guitar,” “I don’t want to eat spinach,” “I want to wear my orange socks.” Yes, it can be trying too. With all these opinions being spewed at me all day long. But generally speaking I love people who are decisive. I just never realized that I’d enjoy that trait in a toddler. I personally spend why too much time waffling between options. Whereas toddlers seem to know pretty much instantly what their stance is. It’s refreshing.
4. They Have a Brain! I noticed that as my son got older, especially when he transitioned from infancy to toddlerhood, he actually had a brain and was using it. Gone were the zombie baby days where he’d bonk into a wall or climb up a chair and fall off and then zombie walk back into the wall. Now I get to observe him making connections and conclusions, remembering events and people. Seeing him explore the world around him and making daily discoveries is exciting for me as a parent. His latest thing is playing catch or kicking a ball. I love getting to interact with him in a bigger way. I feel that I now have a two-way relationship and it’s continuing to grow and bud every day.
5. They Still Nap. My boy is a napper. I’m sorry to brag about this. But it’s true. The boy can nap. I feel really lucky because I know not all toddlers/infants nap well. I will say I worked my butt off when he was a baby for the perfect nap schedule. And I did so at the determent of my own social calendar. But, dang – I love having that down time daily. Me being a nap fanatic combined with my son’s natural tendency to want to nap worked out in my favor. Anyways, napping is awesome for everyone. Him, me – me, me, me. A couple months ago we hit a nap strike. I was flabbergasted and scared our arrangement was coming to an end. People kept suggesting that maybe he was ready to drop the nap. Um, no. I get that some two-year-olds stop napping early, but it’s a very small percentage. Fortunately, I stuck it out and played around with his sleep schedule and he’s back to napping. Sure, the days of his amazing marathon naps are over. But I’ll take any type of nap over no nap. I read that over 50 percent of toddlers stop napping sometime around four years old (noooooo!). I’m going to enjoy the nap and squeeze every last nap I can for as long as he’ll let me. Long live napping!
These are five good reason to argue that the terrible twos aren’t so terrible – but are pretty awesome. Let’s get real though, sure, my son really pisses me off sometimes. Like the time he poured Dr. Bronner’s liquid hand soap all over our newly re-finished hardwood floors. Or when it’s bedtime and he refuses to go to sleep and demands water, then hugs, then potty – argh! But really, all these small things are just small. My stretches of joy far outweigh the rants. And sure, it’s a bit of a roller coaster. Weeks of being all Skittles and rainbows followed by weeks of angst and then repeat, repeat, repeat. But overall, when I review the past year all I remember is awesomeness. I dunno, maybe I’m doomed for the “threatening threes” since the twos have been so magical.